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Church bells receive Hampton's OK

| Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

St. Catherine of Sweden Church has Hampton Township's blessing to attach a new 30-foot tower of chiming, antique bells to its house of worship.

Hampton Council unanimously voted March 27 to approve the shorter, attached bell tower after the Hampton Township Zoning Hearing Board rejected the parish's earlier plans to install a 43-foot, free-standing tower.

In late February, the zoning hearing board denied the parish's request for a variance from the township's 20-foot height limit on accessory, stand-alone structures.

“The original plan had the bell tower as an accessory structure,” said Marty Orban, land use administrator for Hampton Township.

“The plans were revised to have the bell tower as an addition the church.”

The Verdin Company of Cincinnati will fabricate and equip the forthcoming tower with three computer-controlled and restored bells salvaged from churches closed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.

A triangular trellis of steel pipes will attach the bell tower to St. Catherine of Sweden Church.

In other business:

• Hampton Council voted March 27 to spend approximately $50,000 on services and equipment for multiple township departments.

Council members voted to use approximately $7,980 in the township's capital improvements budget to replace a 25-year-old heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit on the roof of Hampton Police Department.

Hampton Council also voted to use $12,910 in the township's capital sewer budget to replace a 19-year-old heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit at the township's water pollution control plant.

• Council members also approved a proposal from Environmental Planning & Design — a downtown Pittsburgh landscape design firm — to update the Hampton Township Comprehensive Plan for $20,000, and to update the Hampton Community Park Master Plan for $10,000.

The updated plans are required when the township applies for government grants, according to Chris Lochner, township manager, and Alex Zarenko, the township's director of community services.

• Lochner announced at the March 27 meeting that Hampton has received a $15,969 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

“Our recycling program does generate revenue back to our residents,” he said.

• Lochner also announced that he expects Duncan Avenue to soon close for 60 to 90 days when crews replace the Gourdhead Run Bridge and culvert near the Easy Trip gas station at Route 8 and Duncan Avenue.

PennDOT and Hampton officials will meet April 9 to discuss the project's timetable, according to Lochner.

In conjunction with the bridge replacement project, crews also will construct a flood retention pond with rain garden-style landscaping on the former Auld Hardware property at Duncan Avenue and Route 8.

Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or ddeasy@tribweb.com.

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